Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My Bubble: Stop-overs Enroute Rotorua

After spending half the day in Matamata, we drove on to the thermal city of Rotorua. It is the place that delivers the extremes of experiences from the Maori culture, extreme adventures, trekking, fishing and geothermal earth forces such as geysers, hot springs and boiling mud pools.

McLaren Falls Park
After the mad rush to the Hobbits hole, our pace calmed and we took on a relaxed drive mode as we head towards Rotorua. We set our GPS and didn't realised that we were headed on a longer route when we decided to include a 45mins drive to visit Tauranga [it was actually planned earlier but canceled]. However, we were too busy marveling the scenic sights along the way to really notice as we passed through the Kaimai-Mamaku Forest Park. Soon after Matamata, we stopover to check out the McLaren Falls Park, about 10mins before arriving at Tauranga. It is a pastoral and horticultural parkland alongside Lake McLaren popular for camping, fishing, kayaking, bush walks and picnics. Since lo kong was still not confident with his driving the campervan, we did not get to see the waterfall as we set out on foot up Cherry Bay. However, we were very much intrigued by a black swan family.

After snapping some shots, we got on our way to arrive in Tauranga past 3pm. A quick tour about town and we were on the road again, passing the town of Te Puke, the Kiwifruit capital of the world. Too bad we didn't have time to stay a night here as Rotorua was beckoning with a excitement. We also droved pass Okere Falls, a small town popular for whitewater river sledging. This place actually appeared once in The Amazing as part of their detour challenge. Too bad again but we weren't ready to get wet anyway ... it's cold!

Soon after, we were stopped by a policeman as did all the vehicles before us. As there was a accident somewhere ahead, he advised us to take a detour route which we unfortunately missed the turning and went right smack into the road block. We were like less than 10 minutes from the Lake Okareka campsite, one of their Department of Conservation New Zealand's campsites that offers safe campground on a budget. While being stucked in the half-hour roadblock, we realised that the campsite does not have a dumping station which were very desperate for as it was already starting to stink inside our campervan. We had not done any dumping at since we first took delivery of the campervan. That's 2 days of pee ... ewwwwww!!!

Finally we checked into the All Seasons Holiday Park in Rotorua but by then was a bit too dark to do any dumping. So we slept on with the stink lingering  round our noses.


2 Bubbles:

Hi Wenny,

Awesome shots! Did I hear a Hobbit hole mention too? I am a big Lord of the Rings fan ;)

Thanks for sharing with us.


Thanks for popping by, Ryan. Yes, you read right. We visited the LOTR movie set in Matamata where they shot the Frodo's home village.

In fact, they are in the process of building additional new ones for their upcoming LOTR sequel.